Interview: Matt Canlis of Godspeed

Matt Canlis wasn’t too different from most young ministers at the tail end of seminary. He was full of big ideas for big churches. But unlike most young ministers, he benefited from a mentoring word from Eugene Peterson, who counseled him to put off being swallowed up by the “American Church Machine” and discover a different, older form of pastoral [...]

It Ain’t Over…Yet

by David Roseberry I have been so grateful for the many people who have responded to the vision of Giving Up.  Several rectors have texted me and told me that the book made a difference in their thinking and in their planning for the last three months of the year. And, thankfully, in the way their church responded. One bishop [...]

Slow Down This Advent

Advent is a time of waiting. As one who didn’t grow up but had to grow into the church calendar, the movement from increasing anxiety as Christmas approached to cultivating patient anticipation refreshed my hectic heart. December is a hard time for church leaders to slow down. But the always-on, always-connected world we built with blind optimism in progress is [...]

By |2019-11-22T11:21:04-06:00December 4th, 2017|Categories: Leadership, Liturgy & Worship|Tags: , , , , , , |0 Comments

Interview: Arrabon

After the events in Charlottesville in August, I came across an article by Doug Paul of Missio Alliance with a catchy and convicting subtitle: "When a Generation of Church Planters Reach Only White People” In reviewing the book The Creative Class, Paul argues (persuasively) that in creating ‘hip’ church plants, many young pastors may be inadvertently signaling a bias toward white [...]

By |2019-01-08T17:30:13-06:00November 27th, 2017|Categories: Leadership|Tags: , , , , , , |0 Comments

House Calls: A Pastor’s Guide to Talking to Donors

It's the time of year when church leaders are starting to see lots of red—and it isn't always early Christmas decorations! Lots of churches have deficits they need to close by year's end. I have been there many (MANY) times. Sometimes, these gaps are relatively small. All you need is to remember to 'double December' and take a breath. (If [...]

Trellises and Vines

The Church is a tended vine. The metaphor runs through all of scripture, from Isaiah 5 to John 15. It's our model for making disciples. But have we taken a moment to ask what we know about the plants themselves? Consider: Vines offer less to look at than perhaps any other plant. There's just no other way to say it: [...]

Stop Casting Vision

Though we love talking about 'casting vision', but often our 'vision' is just too big for anyone to grasp. It's too wide to take in and leaves people feeling overwhelmed and even paralyzed by possibilities. Barry Schwartz has some remarkable (and terrifying!) research about "the paradox of choice." When we are confronted by too many options, we become anxious and [...]

By |2019-01-10T16:52:25-06:00November 9th, 2017|Categories: Leadership, Pastoral Ministry|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

What’s Wrong With My Letter?

Writing an Appeal Letter is about saying "will you" and then "thank you". A few years ago I had to do what every Rector or Sr. Pastor should do about this time of year: write a year-end appeal letter. (If you need convincing that you should, read here.) My church was in the red for the year. Again. I've [...]

Hack Next Year’s Budget

It is that time of year again. Budget time! As pastors, leaders, vestries, and boards are wringing their hands about the close of this year, plans for next year are being drawn up. Over the years I developed a few ‘hacks’ for church leaders. I’ve collected a few of these tips, tricks, and rules of thumb that have proven useful [...]

Giving Up Excerpt in Christianity Today

You can see the latest sneak peek at Giving Up: How Giving to God Renews Hearts, Changes Minds, and Empowers Ministry on CT Pastors. This excerpt reveals five big ideas that church leaders can use to jumpstart generosity in your church. Check out the whole book on Amazon.

By |2019-01-08T17:30:23-06:00October 10th, 2017|Categories: For Pastors, Generosity, Leadership|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

Giving Up: More than Money

David Roseberry’s book, Giving Up, provides concrete ways to jumpstart financial giving in churches. His wisdom, gleaned from decades in ministry, gives church leaders applicable tools to do the work they need to do, which requires members of churches to be generous with their resources. So, yes, the book is about money, much as Jesus’ teachings were filled with advice [...]

By |2019-01-08T17:30:24-06:00October 3rd, 2017|Categories: For Pastors, Generosity, Leadership|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

The American Religious Landscape: A New Resource

The Public Religion Research Institute just released an invaluable new resource to help church leaders see what’s been happening across the American religious landscape. Their American Values Atlas is an up-to-date, representative dataset drawn from over 100,000 interviews conducted in 2016. The breadth of the data allows church leaders to target the responses of specific states and even metro areas [...]

By |2019-01-08T17:30:25-06:00September 20th, 2017|Categories: Leadership, Miscellaneous|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Discover Israel: Behold the Man

Every week or so, we will post about one of the sites on our upcoming Israel tours for pastors and everyone. The stories of these people and places in the Bible have the power to form us, first as humans made in the image of God, but also as servant leaders who have been called to join the work of [...]

By |2019-01-08T17:30:26-06:00September 14th, 2017|Categories: Leadership, Pastoral Ministry|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

The Vital Role of the Small Church Leader

The mission of LeaderWorks is to help church leaders do their work. In that effort, James K.A. Smith and Tim Keller have blessed us richly with their recent conversation in Comment Magazine. Church leaders who have just begun their ministries, whether planting a church or leading a small congregation, often feel frustrated by a lack of growth. No matter how [...]

By |2019-01-08T17:30:28-06:00September 5th, 2017|Categories: Leadership, Pastoral Ministry|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

Announcement: Giving Up is Coming Soon!

It’s Ready After years of gathering ideas, studying Scripture, preaching “The Money Talk”, collecting three decades worth of wisdom...and months of writing and re-writing, the book is finished.  We took our final pass at it with our red pens and now it lives with the publisher and then onto the printer...and then I hope...to you! It should be available for [...]

Discover Israel: King Saul, Tragic Leader

Every week or so, we'll highlight one of the sites we'll visit on our upcoming Israel tours for pastors or for everyone. The stories of these people and places in the Bible have the power to form us, first as humans made in the image of God, but also as servant leaders who have been called to join the work [...]

By |2019-01-10T15:40:53-06:00August 16th, 2017|Categories: For Pastors, Leadership|Tags: , , , , , , |0 Comments

Tourism in Israel on the Rise

I received a note yesterday that tourism from the United States to Israel is growing—and not just by a little bit. Compared to 2015 and 2016, tourism to Israel is up 20% from January to June. So far this year, 400,000 Americans have travelled to Israel—90,000 in the month of June alone. What is it that continues to draw people [...]

By |2019-01-10T16:23:41-06:00July 14th, 2017|Categories: For Pastors, Leadership|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

Introducing Our New Assistant Director

Thanks to a generous supporter of LeaderWorks, we would like to announce our new Assistant Director, the Rev. Kolby Kerr. Kolby is a fantastic young priest in our ACNA and will add greatly to what LeaderWorks is able to offer. You’ll be hearing a lot from him on the blog, so I wanted to give him a chance to introduce himself. [...]

By |2019-01-08T17:30:39-06:00July 13th, 2017|Categories: Leadership, Pastoral Ministry|Tags: , , , , , |1 Comment

Meet RD Glenn: What Would Cranmer Do?

The Rev. Ray David Glenn and I are friends.  We have known each other since 2010.  When his wife died suddenly seven years ago, he and I became even closer. (For reasons I cannot explain, RD is the ONLY person I ever routinely Facetime with. It cannot be that actually wants to see me. But I think he is that [...]

By |2019-01-10T16:53:25-06:00May 30th, 2017|Categories: Anglicanism, Leadership, Sacraments|Tags: , , |1 Comment

The Reformation Anglicanism Essential Library

Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali, The Rev. Dr. Jensen, The Rev. Dr. John Yates, III, Dr. Ashley Null, and Bishop Ben Kwashi--these are the modern-day Anglican scholars and bishops that are teaming together to write a 6-volume work on Reformation Anglicanism. The first edition is out (The Reformation Anglicanism Essential Library, Volume 1). And it is great! An Interview with an Editor [...]

By |2020-07-07T16:06:46-05:00May 23rd, 2017|Categories: Anglicanism, Leadership, Pastoral Ministry, Preaching|Tags: , |0 Comments

Two Rectors Past and Present

Christ Church March marks the one-year anniversary of the beginning of the transition process at Christ Church. I remember it well.  I had asked the Vestry 9 months earlier to begin a search process for a new Rector. I was so thankful for their diligence and care throughout the process. Fran and I were very excited to see the process narrow [...]

By |2019-01-10T16:53:53-06:00March 28th, 2017|Categories: Leadership, Pastoral Ministry|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

WATCH: Part 2 – A Call to Plant a Church

A week ago I added a blog post featuring Shawn McCain and his church plant in Austin. He spoke about the vision he has for RezAustin and what it is like to work in a start-up church plant. As I mentioned in the post, Shawn is a great thinker. He is also, humble and clear in his views. Part 2: I [...]

Don’t Give Up on Lent (Read this Great Book First)

For some, Lent still conjures only thoughts of Mardi Gras or cutting chocolate from your diet. But many American evangelicals are discovering (or, in some cases, re-discovering) Lent. Many are entering into this time with some hesitations and questions. It creates a challenge for church leaders who are trying to teach the meaning of Lent in the midst of leading [...]

By |2019-02-19T22:00:09-06:00January 19th, 2017|Categories: Anglicanism, Leadership, Liturgy & Worship|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Launching LeaderWorks!

I am so thankful that I am able, through LeaderWorks, to take over 3 decades worth of parish leadership experience, a few bits hard-won wisdom, and few more wounds, and share them with other churches and leaders. These first months have been a joy. LeaderWorks is up and running and I am thankful to have your support and prayers. Now I am [...]

By |2019-01-10T16:54:42-06:00December 26th, 2016|Categories: For Pastors, Generosity, Leadership|Tags: , , , |0 Comments